Friday, April 23, 2010


Get real Thailand

Last season Thai football seemed to be on the up. Fans flocked to fill stadiums, clubs hastily erected temporary stands and TV coverage ensured a blanketing of the game domestically. Fans of Thai football had never had it so good.

Now though it seems to be fading into irrelevancy.

Putting aside the energy sapping pre season which lasted longer than a flight to Jupiter a series of events swirling round Thailand is buffeting the game leaving people confused and uncertain.

Back in 2008 Thaksin's puppets stormed Bangkok's airport for several days (sorry, been reliably informed I have got my reds and yellows arse around tit!) forcing the ASEAN Football Federation to move the AFF Cup group games, originally scheduled for Bangkok, south to the island resort of Phuket.

The Thai Premier League 2010 has been blighted by cancellations and venue changes as football authorities struggle to keep the game on an even keel while rival political camps, dressed in red and yellow and festooned with garlands 'cos Thais are friendly and avoid conflict, turn Bangkok into their own private battleground.

AFC Cup ties featuring Thai Port and Muang Thong United have also been relocated to the more peaceful Phuket - a slap in the face for Muang Thong who aren't even in Bangkok.

All this makes Worawi's claim, not for the first time, to bring England to Bangkok next June a bit disingenuous. In case the FA head hasn't noticed, people are dying on the streets of Bangkok.

You could say that, by bringing up the England question again, the FA are trying to give the impression business is normal but business sure ain't normal when grenades are being chucked around the business area and games are being shifted hundreds of miles south.

In case memories are short in Bangkok I would respectfully (!) remind them that last year Manchester United pulled a friendly game in Jakarta two or three days before it was due to be played after the hotel they were staying in was targetted by terrorists.

Insurance plays as much a part of these foreign jaunts as sponsorship, politics and football (in that order). If insurance companies slap a huge premium on a toruing English party or won't cover them at all then all the name dropping in the world will not bring them over.

UPDATE - this article suggests if a game goes ahead it would be for political reasons.

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